Be Equal

A catalyst for change

As we navigated through the second year of the pandemic in 2021, we focused on helping IBMers become better, stronger, adaptable, and more resilient.


We defined our shared vision for continued advocacy: increasing opportunity through investments, partnership programs, external advocacy, and legislation. Throughout the year, we donated $2 million to our partners advocating for diversity, and supported several bills brought forth to the U.S. Congress that reinforce our dedication to our diverse communities of IBMers.

2021
A year in review

Employee experience
9.5M technical learning hours
82K cloud badges
68K hires
1K US internships
1K US students completed the IBM Accelerator programs

Our History

IBM has more than 100 years of experience with diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace. We encourage everyone—generation after generation—to thrive because of their unique differences, not despite them. Journey back in time and discover why diversity is in our DNA.

1911

The newly formed Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, later renamed IBM, included Black and female employees from its founding.

1914

IBM hired its first employee with a disability, 59 years before the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 76 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act.

1935

First written equal opportunity policy. This was almost 30 years before the US passed the Equal Pay Act.

1942

Hired blind psychologist Michael Supa to create a program for hiring and training people with disabilities.

1943

First woman vice president, Ruth Leach. Between 1940-1943, a third of IBM’s manufacturing hired are women.

1944

IBM President Thomas J. Watson, Sr., joins the Advisory Committee of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and contributes to the UNCF's fundraising efforts.